By Alysa Leier
As a teenager I planned on (and worked hard toward) moving to some bustling, big city and starting a new life as a physician. In fact, for as long as I can remember, that was my goal. At seventeen I didn’t want kids, didn’t even see them in my future. At twenty-three, and fresh out of university with a four-year degree, I still held onto that teenage dream.
But I think that year was the beginning of the end of that dream. Somewhere along the line, my dreams changed, and twenty-seven brought a new one. I had recently become a mom, and my entire view of the world had changed. No longer was I dreaming of moving away. Instead, I was dreaming of raising my kids. At home.
I have to admit it was hard, completely opposite of everything my younger self had dreamed of. Brutal even, at times. I questioned everything from diaper choices to discipline tactics.
I was worried about someone harming my kids at a childcare center, and now they nearly bruise/scratch each other every day. But just one look at their adorable faces has me totally understanding my choice. At the end of my time as an at-home mom, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Now, at thirty-three, more changes are in store for me. Both of my kids will now be in school. This gives me a feeling of freedom, and a hope that I can reclaim some of the things I’ve let slip away as a stay-at-home-mom and farmer/farm wife, living in the country. In a way, it’s a new beginning. Maybe even time for a new dream? Second grade, kindergarten, a new harvest season, and for me, perhaps my first off-the-farm job in more than six years.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids. I love our farm life. I love being a part of such a noble profession. Farmers truly do feed the world! Even though my dreams have changed several times now – maybe too many for most people to feel comfortable with – I still dream. The dreams don’t involve moving away, but instead involve things for my family and our farm.
I learned early on that sometimes while you’re working toward a dream, a new dream comes along and changes everything. And that’s ok. It’s ok to let go and move on, as long as you continue to work toward bettering yourself and helping those around you. I’m excited to see what the future holds. I guarantee you, the path won’t be straight, but it will be full of adventures. To new beginnings.
Alysa Leier was elected to the Promotion and Education Committee chairmanship in 2016. As the P&E Chair, she represents that committee on the NDFB Board of Directors. Alysa and her husband, Dustin, raise beans, flowers, wheat, corn and cattle on their farm near Minot. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in biology from Minot State University and helps around the farm, driving tractor and combine. The Leiers have two children.